What The Latest Research Shows
So which is it? Recent research has shown that all those studies are correct. How can this be possible – that coffee can both increase and decrease the risk of having a heart attack? It turns out that a specific gene – one that controls metabolism of the enzyme CYP1A2 – determines how our bodies reacts to caffeine. People with one version of this gene, who are referred to as “fast metabolizers”, process the caffeine in coffee quickly and get all the health benefits without any of the heart risks. People with the other version, the “slow metabolizers”, process the caffeine more slowly and are more susceptible to heart rhythm abnormalities and other issues caused by the caffeine.
It’s believed that approximately 40% of the US population are “fast metabolizers” but the only way to know for sure if you are one, is through a genetic test. However, researchers say you may be able to tell which group you fall into by observing how you feel after consuming coffee. If within an hour or so you feel like you’d be able to nap if you wanted, you’re probably a fast metabolizer. If however, you still feel “wired” even hours after you’ve finished your cup, you’re probably a slow metabolizer.
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